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What can Michael Carrick achieve at Middlesbrough?

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Ten months after leaving Manchester United, Michael Carrick is back in football, having been appointed head coach with Championship side Middlesbrough. 

 

For the 41 year old it marks a return to his roots. Born on Tyneside he was on the books with the North-East side as a nine year old, although it was when he moved south to London with West Ham that he first made his name.

 

He replaces Chris Wilder who was fired earlier this month, and will work alongside Jonathan Woodgate – a former Boro manager.

His immediate task is to help steer the club away from the relegation zone. They are currently 21st in the table and only outside the drop zone on goal difference.

 

Supporters of Middlesbrough have learned to be patient. Premier League stalwarts for almost 15 years, they dropped down to the Championship in 2010, and, although they were promoted again in 2016, they lasted just one season, before dropping back again.

 

They finished in the play-offs in 2018, but, since then, the best they have mustered is two seventh placed finishes.

In terms of what the club can expect, his coaching career at Manchester United offers some examples. He was known for his man management and willingness to put his arm around the shoulder of players, and relate to any issues they may have from his own playing days.

 

He also wanted players to express themselves on the pitch, but, known as a calm headed individual as a player, Carrick intends to try and behave with the same restraint as a coach – he is unlikely to get into heated discussions with fourth officials and other managers on the touchline.

Of course, this was a serial trophy winner under Sir Alex Ferguson and it will be interesting to see what managerial traits he has inherited from the Scot.

 

In his brief stint as Manchester United, Carrick put the emphasis on attacking football, and he will expect to continue that trend with his new club.

It is almost certainly too late for Middlesbrough to get back in the play-off picture this season, something the club’s board has acknowledged by appointing somebody with such little experience.

 

However, if he can stabilise the club this season, get them playing his way, and with a brand of football that the fans enjoy watching, then the hope is that they will be well placed to mount a sustained title challenge next year, returning them to where they feel they belong.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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